Pat Frades Sees with Mushrooms

  • by Jose Naval

“Not everyone would understand my art style,” Pat Frades writes for an Instagram post, “but it is the unconventional and weirdness of my work that I see the beauty in showcasing the bizarre in art.” The accompanying image is titled “STRANGE,” a life cast of hands atop a wooden base, their backs melded to support each other’s weight. There are mushrooms formed at their fingertips and around the palms. Nestled in one is a small doll head with beady eyes.


In describing Frades’s works, bizarre is right, the kind that occasions a hard look. Her solo exhibition, Growth, nears its last week at Vinyl on Vinyl. “STRANGE” is one of the many life casts on display, many of which are hands and feet molded after the artist’s loved ones, covered and colored in bursts of fungi. As it is with “STRANGE,” each sculpt is an intimate memento of her subjects. 

Strange Cartellino
STRANGE. Polymerclay, plaster and acrylic on wood. 6h x 10w x 5d inches. 2020.
Strange Cartellino
Strength. Polymerclay, plaster and acrylic on wood. 2020.

In their varying positions (a grasp, a tiptoe), preserved are fugitive moments of the lives of the artist and the people she holds dear, entangled and fused as they are in the strangest ways. Hands and feet are, after all, the body’s extremities: reaching out, affecting and being affected by one another, making and remaking worlds. In this way, Frades has us consider growth as multidirectional, akin to the weather. Or us weathering each other. Growth, occurrent like a pulse of a new season — like the sudden, miraculous sight of mushrooms after rain.


Pat Frades's Growth continues until the end  of July at Vinyl on Vinyl. To schedule an appointment for viewing, click here. For futher inquiries, contact info@vinylonvinylgallery.com | +639178022984

Anchor photo: Growth exhibition view.


All images courtesy of Vinyl on Vinyl Gallery.